Victoria Miro is delighted to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2017 (Booth 3D05) with a stand relating to ideas of doubling, mirroring and material transformation. Works by NS Harsha, Doug Aitken, Christian Holstad, Sarah Sze and Do Ho Suh are further united by themes of geology, astronomy, the sublime and, by contrast, the intimacy of the domestic sphere.
Currently the subject of a major survey exhibition at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, NS Harsha is represented by ‘twin’ works that further his interest in the artwork as part of a wider conversation about systems of knowledge, belief and power. A signature motif in Harsha’s work is the image of multiple heads, inspired by the the Vishvaroopa Darshan, a popular Hindu image in which the universe is depicted with one body and multiple heads. In Distress Call from Saturn's Neighborhood, 2011, and Distress Call from Jupiter's Neighborhood, 2011, aubergines weave through and among the strands of more than 500 heads, creating a strangely enigmatic space within which the figures exist. The aubergines, chosen specifically because they have no significance in religious, cultural or political iconography, serve a purely aesthetic, almost abstracted – even futile – purpose. The figures floating in this mysterious environment possess an almost musical, festive quality, which led Harsha to anchor each work with an object – the Dagga, a drum used in Indian celebrations and rituals – to suggest a unified and rhythmic universe.
Made from hand-carved foam and acrylic, two New Land works by Doug Aitken appear to exist between abstraction and representation, their high-sheen, industrial-looking surfaces pitted rhythmically to reveal substrata of inscrutable whiteness. A connecting thread in Aitken’s work is a sense of the industrial, urban and environmental entropy that defines twenty-first-century existence. While certain aspects of his practice possess an exterior toughness akin to that of the commercial landscape, his art moves beyond surfaces, often breaking down into abstraction in order to demonstrate the nature and structure of our media-saturated cultural condition. Aitken’s Mirage, 2017, a ranch-style structure clad in mirror that offers a continually changing encounter in which subject and object, inside and outside are in constant flux, is currently on view as part of Desert X, curated by Neville Wakefield, in the Coachella Valley, California (until 30 April 2017). Underwater Pavilions, 2016, a large-scale installation comprising three underwater sculptures, was recently installed off the coast of Catalina Island, California, and will reopen in a new location in 2017. Produced by Parley for the Oceans and presented in partnership with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), the launch of Underwater Pavilions coincided with the recent exhibition Doug Aitken: Electric Earth, the artist’s first North American survey, at MOCA.
For Christian Holstad the artificial, constructed environment is a source of infinite and potentially terrifying beauty. Working with hand-cut paper collage, in Corrections (Aquarium), 2014, and Bleeding Stars, 2014, the artist builds up his material in layers. Both works feature goldfish caught in the involuntary confines of the aquarium and the fishing net. These fish appear to exist primarily to be observed. However, they provide a lighter, more lyrical take on Holstad’s ongoing interest in voyeurism and perspective, the concept of the sublime, and the various types of borders, boundaries and constraints in our environment that impact upon our lives.
Sarah Sze is widely known for works that are charged with flux and transformation. Disorienting and disrupting our perception, Magenta Stone and Yellow Stone – in fact photographs of rock surfaces printed on to Tyvek and wrapped around aluminium armatures – play with ideas of gravity, stability and fragility. Each grouping of rocks is juxtaposed with a wall work in which the same lichen-covered rock pattern is replicated in tones that relate to Pantone samples and act as a catalogue of the colours in the rocks’ surfaces. Major museum and public projects by Sze, who represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013, include a presentation of her installation Timekeeper, 2016, at Copenhagen Contemporary (until 3 September 2017), and Blueprint for a Landscape, an installation for the new 96th Street station of the Second Avenue Subway in New York City. During 2017, Sze will create a new work for Haus der Kunst, Munich, as the recipient of its annual commission dedicated to the Middle Hall of the building.
Meticulously replicating dwelling places, architectural features, or household appliances from stitched planes of translucent, coloured polyester fabric, Do Ho Suh gives form to ideas about migration, transience and shifting identities. In works such as Specimen Series: Refrigerator, Unit 2, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, 2015, and the lightbox work Fire Extinguisher, Unit G5, 23 Wenlock Road, Union Wharf, London, N1 7SB, UK, 2016, the everyday, physical world, becomes tinged with the intangible, metaphorical, and psychological. Bathroom, Unit 2, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, 2015, is the result of a new process for the artist, in which Suh’s signature architectural pieces are compressed into large-scale two-dimensional ‘drawings’. Using gelatin tissue, the works are sewn in the same way as Suh’s architectural fabric pieces. Once immersed in water, however, the gelatin dissolves, fusing with the paper to leave an image in which the threads appear like a skeletal framework against the coloured form of the object. A major North American touring exhibition of Suh’s work is currently on view at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin (until 14 May 2017).
Hong Kong Convention
& Exhibition Centre
1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Hong Kong, China
Private View (by invitation only)
Tuesday, March 21, 3pm to 8pm
Wednesday, March 22, 1pm to 5pm
Wednesday, March 22, 5pm to 9pm
Thursday, March 23, 1pm to 8pm
Friday, March 24, 1pm to 9pm
Saturday, March 25, 11am to 6pm